Department of Language Studies

Welcome to Language Studies at UTM 

The Department of Language Studies, formerly known as the Department of French, German and Italian (FGI), was established on July 1, 2003. The Department of Language Studies is a leader at the University of Toronto and worldwide in the use of technology to advance the learning of languages.  U of T was ranked 14th in the world and 1st in Canada for Modern Languages by the QS World University Rankings 2013/14.  (http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2014/modern-languages#sorting=rank+region=+country=+faculty=+stars=false+search=).

Rooted in the traditions of three major European languages and in Canada's French language and culture, the Department of Language Studies bases its mission on the notion that language and culture are inseparable and that the study of other cultures offers new perspectives. By stressing cultural, linguistic, pedagogical, and critical skills, the department prepares students to succeed in further study and gives its graduates an important advantage as they pursue careers in an increasingly competitive global environment. The Department offers the following programs of study: French Language and Literature, French Linguistics, Italian Studies, Language Teaching and Learning, and Linguistics. These are the areas of emphasis that distinguish the Department of Language Studies. Their synergy places it among the nation's very best departments in the field.

The Department's mandate has been recently expanded to include oversight of the delivery of a broader range of language and culture courses (Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi/Urdu, Latin, Persian, Sanskrit, and Spanish) that support the academic mission of U of T Mississauga and the programmatic requirements of cognate disciplines seeking language study options, and enhance the global and cross-cultural education for our undergraduate students in order to empower them to be leaders in their prospective careers. The department's faculty members take pride in their innovative approach to language study in which they combine the practice of language, the spirit of cultures, and the teaching and learning processes associated with the understanding and application of languages.

The Department is recognized as a leader in literary and critical scholarship, interdisciplinary innovation in curriculum and technology, and for its tradition of excellence in teaching and pedagogical research. The Department also offers opportunities to study in several locations in France, Germany, Italy and Québec.

Department's Mandate 

Our mandate is twofold: a) to provide our students with an understanding, and practical and accurate knowledge of the three main disciplines taught in the Department (namely literature, linguistics and teaching and learning), and b) to foster in students linguistic knowledge, communicative competence, cultural awareness, and critical thinking skills, so that they may participate in the multicultural Canadian landscape as well as in the increasingly globalized international community and thus make contributions to various aspects of both contexts (cultural, economic, political and so on).

The most essential pedagogical objectives of Language Studies are to provide students with the foundation needed in linguistic structures and meta-language to strengthen their functionality in the second language and to assist them in acquiring, developing and perfecting all four language skills: speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. In addition to this initial achievement, Language Studies encourages the students’ ability to apply their linguistic knowledge in real communicative situations and to behave appropriately in cultures in which the language is used. Through the development of the understanding of literature and culture, Language Studies upholds the values of a humanistic education that encompasses linguistic and literary theory, language study for field specific purposes, interdisciplinary studies, preparation for graduate study and careers in, for example, education, linguistics, tourism, commerce, industry, communications, international relations and diplomacy. The linguistic and cultural skills and knowledge our students acquire are enhanced by the intellectual skills of analytical and critical thinking which prepare them for a myriad of career opportunities and life-long learning.

Our graduates have gravitated towards a broad range of sectors related to their own interests and aptitudes. They have distinguished themselves in every field of endeavour: education (translation, research, teaching, library work, graduate studies in Education, French, German, Italian and Linguistics), business and industry (banking, journalism, export/import, advertising, work in publishing), professions (medicine, law, architecture, engineering), social work (police work, hospitals, courts), government service (customs, civil service, external affairs, immigration), travel (interpreter, restaurants, airlines), and the arts (museum curator, critic, stage, cinema, translator).